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18 Graphs That Show What The New York Times Talks About

This cool new tool graphs what words the paper's been talking about since 1851.

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The New York Times just launched a cool data tool called Chronicle that graphs mentions of words and phrases over time. It's a fascinating look at what the paper and the country cared about since 1851. Try it out! It's awesome.

Here's a few we checked out:


5. Staten Island vs. Queens vs. Manhattan vs. Brooklyn vs. Bronx

Contrary to what it feels like, the Times has gotten LESS obsessed with Brooklyn. Brooklyn mentions peaked around 1894 – the year the borough officially joined New York City.


11. Alcohol vs. Drugs. vs. Tobacco

This really shows the different concerns the last 150 years. Alcohol mentions had a big bump during Prohibition, but now "drugs" are more newsworthy (this includes mention of prescription drug news). Tobacco is sooooo over.


17. Saddam vs. Hitler

Saddam Hussein was mentioned in a higher percentage of overall articles in 2003 than Hitler in the peak years of World War II. However, if you look at the version of the graph for total number of articles (there's a toggle switch at the bottom of the link), Hitler wins.

The Saddam vs. Hitler chart previous misstated the comparison between the two names. The graph (and all the others here) show the percentage of total articles mentioning the names, not the total number of mentions.